The Kenyan Intervention in Somalia: Ethical Dilemmas
Somalia is known for its anarchy and dysfunction. With the absence of government, security and rule of law, Somalia has been left to its own devices and has been consumed by violence and civil unrest. This has led to its vulnerability to religious extremism and a potential breeding ground for terrorists and pirates. Somalia's failing state has not only created a humanitarian disaster for its citizens, but also threatens the national security and interests of its neighbors, Kenya, Ethiopia and other countries in eastern Africa. In October of 2011, the Kenyan government launched Operation Lindi Nchi, an armed intervention in Somalia to counter the growing terrorist threat and impart stability and governance.Operation Lindi Nchi brings many questions and concerns. Does Kenya have the authority to make such a decision, and if so, are there criteria that should be met for such decisions? This thesis seeks to discuss the moral and ethical dilemmas that arise from armed interventions by analyzing just war theory and other ethical frameworks to measure the morality of Kenya's decision to intervene in Somalia. This thesis will also examine the previous UN and US intervention in the early 1990s as a means of understanding the relevant issues and concerns that the US and the UN faced and relating those experiences to the current intervention led by Kenya.
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